Monday, May 16, 2005

Approaching Crossroads.

I feel like closing my eyes, sticking my head in a dark place and going la-la-la until the confusion goes away. [ An entertaining real-life mannerism I picked up from D. ] D. says the lack of a routine imposed by the structure of employment is driving me into depression. I am alternating between rambunctious good humour and morose desolation. The mood swings are not that obvious to most, but D. notices - which means they must be getting wilder.

I am not sure it is so much the lack of structure but more of the confusion I currently face. Feeling pulled in all directions and torn apart like being a paper sailboat tossed into whirling eddies that form at the bottom of a waterfall.

Even her suggestion to write down the pros and cons of the decision issues is not helping. I cannot even think clearly about the issue without my emotions threatening to overwhelm me and throwing whatever ragged remains of rationality out of the window.

The decision is mine and mine alone. (And also the consquences.) D. has provided her input on the matter - but it is ultimately my call.


There is a window open to move to Perth this late July / early August. My sitution here is actually very conducive to my relocating. It is not like I have a job to resign from, or a house or car to dispose of first. And the family situation is stable with both my siblings in stable jobs. And by August, D.'s DIMIA application paperwork should have been submitted to be processed leaving only the waiting on that front.

And I have to acknowledge that I want to move in this window. I am so tired of this place. What else is there here for me? The ennui of existing in tiny cramped controlled conditions, the stressed requirement of working long hours to offset the high costs, the constant struggle to afford some luxury and breathing space. I am just so tired of it all. I am sure Australia will have her own set of challenges. As I do not seem to be making much headway with the Singapore life situation, perhaps I would get better luck trading one difficult situation for another different set of difficult situations?

But leaving now (in couple of months) would also mean leaving D. behind in Singapore. The PR visa would take at least another three to four quarters, and she will not personally be ready to move until mid 2006 (optimistic) or even late 2007 (pessimistic).

That long apart will put a lot of stress on our relationship. Even on our practical level-headed relationship that has lasted in excess of a decade. The greatest danger would be our growing apart due to the lack of shared experiences in a traumatic period of transition. We are both very pragmatic people who adapt. As our personal histories have shown, we can take some pretty dramatic changes in stride with a bit of stumbling. The danger is that we may effectively adapt to lives without each other. A year or two is more than sufficient time for two people to grow apart.

And I do not intend to lose D.

In my life I have always tried to travel light and people do not 'stick' to me as I rapidly move through the phases in my life. I am in touch with less than a handful of people I have known for more than five years, and probably only a couple I have known for more than ten years. As I cycle through this next phase, I would realistically lose even more - but I do not intend for D. to be one of them.

It is going to be a very sad state of affairs to build a better quality of life than I can have here, but only to turn and find that I have nobody to share it with. Perhaps a very ironic joke but I am not laughing.

If I pass on this window to relocate, the next window would probably be somewhere in late 2007 when D. is ready to be fully committed to the trial experiment of two years. Which cuts it rather close to V1. I would of course have to settle for some underpaid work (from what I have seen of the Singapore employment market so far) to etch out my bare survival here for the next two years or so. And hope that my (and D.'s) family situations would be sanguine to allow our simultaneous move at that time. A lot of circumstances can change in the span of two years.

And would we - would I - even have the desire to move and start all over again? Or would this place have totally broken my spirit and quenched the dying fire for the desire of a better life? It would be easy to dismiss these fears as unfounded but I have seen firsthand so many of my peers 'settle' for no more than what Singapore can offer. Not that one cannot have a good life here. However I have no desire to be on my deathbed in a 'C' class subsidised ward and thinking that I had a chance for something better and letting it slip away.


Of course, there is no way to know in advance how our life decisions will turn out. But life is like any non-linear system, the starting conditions even when differing by the smallest value, may lead to wildly differing terminal states. [ My current reading project is still on chaos and complexity theory. Current book is Deep Simplicity by John Gribbins. Previous book was Complexity by Roger Lewin. ]

Or to rephrase in simple English. My life is at a crux now. A crossroads. A critical juncture. A pivot. A node. An inflection point. The knife edge of a paradigm shift. A possible phase transition. You get the idea..

And I need to choose. To decide.

And I am paralysed by fear and indecision and doubt.


Blogger Beach-yi said...

Don't mind me saying, it seems that you have pretty much manage to cut or reduce the bonds and attachments that most of us would ordinarily have some difficulty in doing so.

Except for the fact that you have rationalised the possibility of both you and D will be so readily to adapt without each other. Would that be really so? After all the investment in your relationship, maybe you might want to change the method with regards to this issue?

This is your greatest insecurity rather than the work uncertainty issues. And probably this is the sole factor that is holding you back.

I apologise is this sounds preachy but hopefully you would be able to find a way out of the many paths in front of you.

May 16, 2005 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

There will always be fear, indecision and doubt no matter where we go. It is healthy for it makes you think more about the bigger picture. But don't let it eat up your life. I was told once that the world is not always against me so I should let my guard down from time to time.

I doubt a lot about many decisions I make, made or am going to make. But I hold a nomadic mantra of I will go to whenever and whatever that will accomodate me. Hope all is well, KoP.

May 16, 2005 12:07 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Hi KoP,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts to us readers.

It must be very straining to be in-between job since end of last year..i'm just wondering how did you cope with it....(off course, it's very natural, i guess, to sway with depression and doubting).

Based on your blog, I've gathered that you've already set up your constraint issue (i.e you're not willing to leave with your SO). This constraint prevent you from getting a next flight out to AU.

Do you consider this as a sacrifice?
According to Ayn Rand, "Scarifice is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue". i.e you've place the potential stress on your relationship (leaving apart) higher than your goal to relocate to AU.

All the best and stay strong!


May 16, 2005 12:07 PM  
Anonymous JT said...

Sorry to say this but even if you have D, there is no guarantee that both of you will always be together.
In reality, no one will truly know true love but only after one party dies.
There is no such thing called "Forever".

Hence, as I said to you the last round...Move On.
You need to think for yourself too. If you continue to procrastinate, the thought of lying & dying in C Class bed will soon be a reality.

In life, live to the fullest and have no regrets.
Cos, life is too short for that.
This is your wake up call.

Sorry if I got you mad reading this.


May 16, 2005 3:04 PM  
Anonymous S said...

Thank you for articulating so well the pain associated with the migration process, the decisions and the DIMIA situation.

I left Perth early last year and have been away since - applying for my migration and I feel for you and your sit - being similar to what i went thru. I'm doing an offshore app. so it apparently takes a good amount of time to process.

Ditto with the job front. Took me forever to get a job in SG and the depression and doubt of self-worth can be very harsh. i understand and empathise.

My best wishes...

May 16, 2005 3:10 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

Hey KoP, I can understand where you're coming from. I went through similar thought processes when I decided to take a year off to do my masters in Melbourne. I think it's only because my SO gave his unwavering support that I went ahead with it, if he had pulled any sort of teensy weensy guilt trip, I would not have done it. However, there are times I still feel selfish and that there is a strain to our relationship with this distance apart. It's definitely not the ideal option, but I also believe in the romantic notion that true love does not hinder an individual's destiny (re: The Alchemist - the shepherd boy still went ahead to find his treasure in the pyramids though initially he had wanted to stay behind in the oasis with that desert girl). I hope that you make a decision that you will not regret. There is always risk with change.

May 16, 2005 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry mate, but you sound exactly like a whiny Singaporean boy - made famous by recent events.

Stop being fickle minded like a woman, and make your decision LIKE. A. MAN.

May 16, 2005 6:45 PM  
Blogger D T said...

All the best with the decision you're making now and the ones to come.

May 17, 2005 4:31 AM  
Blogger MercerMachine said...

I've been in something of a similar situation. In the words of Mathew Ryan, 'nothing very good or bad ever lasts'. Sometimes all you can do is wait out pain and fear. Remember to breathe, and remember to be kind, especially to yourself. Now's the time to really focus on what's important in your life, and what you can let go without too much consternation.

May 17, 2005 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm, the only fear you have is that you and D will drift apart from just 1-2 years of separation. That's just pathetic - if your relationship can't hold up to a couple of years of separation then you're probably not meant for each other. Tt's not like there's some uncertainty on your separation. You know that you will only separate for a couple of years ('till she's able to go to Australia) so sacrifice a little.

May 18, 2005 12:45 PM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

I had this little lecture given to me once.

"Look - where I come from, people change towns and cities several times in their life! If a place isn't working out for you, it's perfectly fine to move to another town instead of waiting for something to happen. How long do you want to wait?"

I replied, "Singapore is a one-town city. You move, you are a quitter."

"Yeah, so what?"

And yes, I'm also deciding.

May 18, 2005 8:27 PM  
Blogger KnightofPentacles said...

Thank you all for your comments, encouragement and suggestions.

May 21, 2005 3:42 PM  

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